How to be better at bullet?


You might check my game archive regarding bullet and i have play few. I seem not to be able to beat at this when my opponent is particularly high rated (i do with other time controls fine probab higher than 3 mins). They seem to move quite instantly and i want to improve myself at bullet too. Is it that they calculate faster or is it they are premoving a lot?

My rating dropped from 1300 back to 1100 at bullet (lol) when i played against a 1300 player. Any advice or tips are appreciated as i dont seem to be able to beat this bullet.


Forget bullet for the moment, you're putting the cart before the horse.


Learn to play a good game of slow chess first, then try your hand at the quick stuff.


I am good at that. Is there anything else 'regarding bullet'?


Have you tried performance-enhancing drugs?  They did wonders for our Rabbi Silman.  (He's Jewish, you know.)


Anticipation is key. I always pick up the piece I anticipate moving and hover it over the square I will move it to if my opponent makes the expected move. You gotta keep thinking instantly, as well - keep telling yourself it's a bullet game and that you have to keep moving. Myself, I mainly premove captures, anything else is risky except in certain situations eg. a forced mate or an endgame with few pieces on the board. 


Agree with Doggy.

D4DevilX wrote:

I am good at that. Is there anything else 'regarding bullet'?

Really?  You're good at "slow chess"?  Your stats seem to indicate the very opposite.


How to be better at bullet?

Move faster.


Ok, I'll take it a little more seriously and say how I play bullet.

First of all, there are a few things I (or any bullet player) automatically keeps track of.  That's available checks, capturable pieces and undefended pieces.  This is not hard for an experienced player because all of these start at zero, and change only one move at a time.

Additionally, this is updated in a fraction of a second without need for pause.  Like seeing a car speeding towards you, you don't have to think to step out of the way, even if you're occupied doing something else.  So in a bullet game conscious thought is spent mostly on non-trivial tactics.  Trivial tactics are also instantly seen without any pause for thought or calculation.

So before my opponent moves, the majority of the time I have my next move planned, mouse on the piece, ready to move it.  (If they have no reasonable check or capture I pre-move this move).  If they play a threatening move I noticed (on my list), I take my mouse off the pre-planned piece and respond to it.  I don't need to look directly at their move to notice where they moved.  Make use of your peripheral vision**.

When you play someone much better, who's threats are more complicated, because they have more patterns memorized, you waste time, and lose on time.

They have more patterns likely because they're a strong regular player too (although you can augment blitz and bullet strength by learning tricky and unsound positions). 

So finally to answer your question, the most reliable (and certainly consistent) way to get better at bullet is to get better at chess in general.  Then you can make use of the new patterns you've learned by moving them out instantly, with no thought.

Strong players who have lower bullet and blitz ratings never took the time to learn how to turn their brain off while playing chess :p

This can lead to funny cases in time scrambles where very strong players are responding to threats only every other move.  So I threaten your queen, your list wasn't updated fast enough so you totally ignore it.  I assume you would move your queen so I don't capture it when you hang her, and then on his 2nd move he defends the queen.  If new threats happened during this sequence the farce can continue in this fashion... this is how important the clock is lol.


That's a really insightful post actually waffllemaster, describes it very well I think Smile.

Two things I might add (which are generally bullet skills, not regular chess skills):

1) If the position is sufficiently complicated, don't waste too much time trying to solve it - spend maybe 5 seconds maximum on any one position - before making your best move. Obviously, don't hang material, but don't try and calculate too deeply/too many candidate moves either.

2) When both players are low on time, there are some tricks to "run them out of time". Main ones are - keep checking, make unexpected moves, even bad ones, threaten stuff. If he is winning and is premoving a pawn up the board, you can also often make ANY move you want. Outrageous mate in 1 threats, desperate pawn runs - and he will either miss it by premoving, or take time to react, and time out.


Get a better mouse :)


Good tips.

I tend to use pre-move a little more than I should.  If you notice your opponent is pre-moving quite often (even when you have reasonable captures you could have played), you can punish it by capturing any piece you want, because their pre-move will not let them re-capture haha.


Yeah insightful.

Saw Rensch in a time scramble the other day, no increments.

He played a few checks, his opponent was premoving with his king to get out of them. After going back and forth a couple of times, he put his queen on a square where he attacked his opponent's queen, but his queen was protected by a pawn so it wouldn't go horribly wrong if the trick didn't work. Sure enough, opponent moved his king and hung his queen. Clever.

This is the game:

finalunpurez wrote:

Get a better mouse :)

Haha, I actually use a combination of the mouse to move the cursor, and the clicker on my laptop to click and drag the pieces, because the clicking button on my mouse is a bit dodgy, and sometimes drops pieces before I want them to be dropped. So your tip is a good one for me!

Harry_Soho67 wrote:

Have you tried performance-enhancing drugs?  They did wonders for our Rabbi Silman.  (He's Jewish, you know.)

But is he really a rabbi?


Bullet is a complete waste of your time, and simply nothing more than a chess variant such as crazyhouse, Atomic, or Losers. some people can get good at it, but this is at the expense of development of your real game, long tournament time controls. If you really want to get better at bullet, increase your strength a few hundred points in real chess, then return to bullet and you will see the results you want. They don't give FIDE titles for bullet chess, that should tell you something right there.


I can't count the times when, in blitz, my opponent hangs pieces and I realize it only after I moved. Being used with long time control you would never expect your opponent to hang pieces so I don't even check ahah.

aww-rats wrote:

Bullet is a complete waste of your time...

Wonder why you even take the time to comment...


Chess itself is a waste of time. Bullet does the least damage in terms of time consuming. Tongue Out


helpful tips.......Smile


A recent change to live chess has a high-rating game appear on our screen first, and more often than not it's bullet ... and it's not quality play. Blunderfests, even with players 2400+. I agree with the opinion above that bullet is more of a variant than the real thing.